UNICEF Belize signs agreement with George Washington University
UNICEF Belize and George Washington University in USA, team up to establish innovative platforms to build capacities and generate knowledge in fulfillment of Children’s Rights in Belize
12 January 2012, Belize City
Amidst its comprehensive annual work planning for 2012, it is with great excitement that UNICEF Belize and the George Washington University (GWU), School of Public Health and Health Services in USA signed a Memorandum of Understanding on Thursday, 24 November 2011. This agreement is a collaboration to build knowledge and capacity as well as to establish innovative platforms to educate on human development issues to facilitate the achievement of social well-being of boys and girls in Belize.
Both George Washington University and UNICEF share common objectives in light of their respective mandates namely the well-being of children and building national knowledge, skills and technical capabilities to guarantee, maintain and achieve children’s well-being. UNICEF is the global advocate for the respect, protection and fulfillment of children’s rights (with a formal Agreement of Cooperation with the Government of Belize) and the George Washington University in USA, with offices located in Washington, D.C. in USA, is an established centre of transdisciplinary knowledge. The GWU will build capacities, technical knowledge and assistance, research and knowledge generation, analysis and policy guidance support of the full implementation of the Belize National Plan of Action for Children and the recently published recommendations of the UNICEF Situation Analysis for Children and Women 2011 in Belize: An Ecological Review.
Ms. Christine Norton, UNICEF Representative in Belize, UNICEF believes that the partnership with GWU will assist UNICEF in creating a more enabling environment to examine policy issues and build capacity of the partners. The work will ensure that all partners understand the ecological approach linked to equity, the lifecycle approach; well-being indicators, and attributes of a protective environment. During the process, clear steps about how to achieve greater equity to close the gap in selected thematic areas by removing the above-mentioned bottlenecks in areas such as nutrition, education, violence, children and adolescent development.
The GWU principal contact, Dr. Mark Edberg, looks forward to proceeding with the tasks outlined in order to achieve the goals outlined in the agreement for improving the social well-being of boys and girls in Belize. Both parties are committed to the development of technical knowledge in the area of lifecycle development linking strategies to address equitable development, skills and know how to build institutional capacity and training programs with partners, aimed at realizing the full potential of the human and social capital in support of developing a modern, efficient and child rights-oriented society in Belize, where all children’s rights are fulfilled.
This collaboration is mutually beneficial and will further support UNICEF’ s advocacy efforts to ensure that Belize is a country in which all children and adolescents have a chance to make the most of their physical, psychological, mental, spiritual, social, emotional and cognitive abilities in a safe and supportive environment, without ethnic, religious, gender or cultural discrimination. Both parties are excited about this innovative course of collaboration and cooperation at an institutional level which builds on the existing relationship to achieve the broader objective of child-centered development with scale.
Anna D. Hoare, Communication Officer
Mark Edberg, Ph. D
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